24 Oct 2012

MAC Christmas 2012 Collections - Guilty Passions, Glamour Daze & Fabulousness

I was happy to attend MAC's very first pre-Christmas launch event in Brown Thomas on Monday night for the three Holiday/Christmas collections: Guilty Passions, Glamour Daze & Fabulousness.  With MAC dolly birds wandering around with freebie champers and LadurĂ©e macaroons, I was cursing my diet and my car-driving status... what odds.  I know from attending various Harvey Nichols events in the past that champers + me + a credit card is a horrifyingly* lethal combination.  So it was probably a good thing.  Probably.

Onwards to the event itself.  Note: this is a very large and image-heavy post...

* I wasn't horrified, not one little bit, for the record, I was in my element.  The horror was experienced by a.n.other, later, on picking me up to drop me home, replete with shopping bags ;-)
This was organised at relatively short notice and saw the MAC section closed-off from 6-8pm for those on the invitation list.  I am ever-so-slightly concerned that MAC considers me sufficiently "VIP" to warrant a personal invitation (just how much makeup do I buy in a year?!) but what of it, it was nice to see this stuff up close and personal and ahead of the crowd.

As with all MAC Christmas/Holiday collections, these are huge.  Seriously ridiculously OTT huge.  I tried taking photos but the lighting was crap and they really just didn't do the products justice.  So some stock images will have to suffice (more in a bit).

Some Back-of-hand Swatches

As mentioned, I attempted to swatch and photo a bunch of these, but with the bad lighting and the general busy-ness of the event (not crazy crowded but definitely not a lot of room for getting people to stand back so I could take a picture!) I had to give up.  I settled for swatching a bunch of colours that interested me and took quick snaps of those...

Top Row (Extra Dimension Eyeshadows): Ready to PartyA Natural Flirt,
Evening Grey, Stolen Moment, Round Midnight, Stylishly Merry

Bottom Row (Brilliantly Cool Crushed Metallic Pigments)
I've Got a Crush on You, Moss Garden, Spruced, She's Got Class
Top Row (Extra Dimension Skinfinishes): Superb, Whisper of Gilt

Bottom Row (Extra Dimension Eyeshadows): Ready to PartyA Natural Flirt,
Evening Grey, Stolen Moment, Round Midnight, Stylishly Merry
Dramatic Encounter (Amplified Lipstick)

On to the collections proper...

Glamour Daze Collection

MAC Glamour Daze visual.  Really cute and girlie and pretty...

For me, this collection was the most interesting, and the only one from which I bothered to purchase.  This collection features all individual items, pretty much all are LE (limited edition), some are re-promotes of previous items.  Note that this is the only collection for which the MAC Pro discount was applicable, if that's relevant.

Top Row L -> R
: Divine Blue, Evening Grey, Ready to Party, Round Midnight
Bottom Row L -> R: Stolen Moment, Stylishly Merry, Tall, Dark & Handsome, A Natural Flirt

It features eight new Extra Dimension Eyeshadow shades - all are LE.  I have purchased this formula eyeshadow before (Warm Thunder and Rich Core) and it's soooooo beautiful, extremely pigmented, wonderful applied either wet or dry...
  • A Natural Flirt (soft peachy nude)*
  • Evening Grey (steel silver)
  • Divine Blue (mid-tone aqua)
  • Ready to Party (pale lilac)
  • Round Midnight (dark burgundy)*
  • Stolen Moment (dark taupe)
  • Stylishly Merry (mid-tone dusty violet)*
  • Tall, Dark & Handsome (black with pearl)

Clockwise from top left: Stylishly Merry, Round Midnight, A Natural Flirt
L -> R:  Stylishly Merry, Round Midnight, A Natural Flirt
The lighting is not doing justice to these; in real life they're a lot more vibrant.

* the ones I bought.  A Natural Flirt is a peachy-goldy-nude with a hint of a pink flash that I can see being just beautiful for highlighting the inner tear duct when you want something a bit more jazzy.  Round Midnight is a darkened plum-brown burgundy and speaks to my Inner Burgundy Monologue at the moment.  Stylishly Merry is a gorgeous electric fuchsia-undertoned pink, absolutely not an everyday colour, but will be a lot of fun for dress-up :-)

Incidentally, these Extra Dimension eyeshadows are a good deal smaller than those brought out in the summer.  Wonder why... hmmmm.

Superb, Whisper of Gilt

In addition to the Extra Dimension eyeshadows, there are two Extra Dimension Skinfinishes (both are LE but both are repromotes, these were available earlier in the year also):
  • Superb (soft peachy nude with shimmer)
  • Whisper of Gilt (light soft white gold with shimmer)

I have both of these from before and love them - Whisper of Gilt is probably the most usable for paler Irish skins (see Back of Hand swatches section above).

Little Black Bow, Catch My Eye, Feminine Edge

There are also three new (and LE) Fluidlines:
  • Catch My Eye (cool taupe grey with dazzle pearl)
  • Feminine Edge (pink mauve with dazzle pearl)
  • Little Black Bow (charcoal with dazzle pearl)

Of the three, Catch My Eye was probably the most interesting, but they all featured far too much glitter for my liking.  You can purchase a cheap gel glitter liner and get more or less the same effect as these.

Small Vanity, Easy Manner, I'm the One

There are three new Powder Blushes (yep, you've guessed, LE):
  • Easy Manner (light dirty peach)**
  • I'm the One (mid-tone blue pink)
  • Small Vanity (dusty rose tan)

Easy Manner
L -> R: (Easy Manner) Heavy swatch, blended-out

** I purchased Easy Manner, it's a gorgeous shade of creamy watermelon pink with a satin finish.

L -> R: Endless Night, In the Limelight, Girl Trouble, Everything that Glitters

The four Nail Lacquers in the collection, all LE (sighs), feature
  • Endless Night (pale grey pink with iridescent pearl)
  • Girl Trouble (super glitter pink)
  • Everything that Glitters (black with glitter)
  • In the Limelight (mid-tone creamy mint)

The only one interesting (for me) was In the Limelight, but I have a similar Illamasqua mint green shade, so I wasn't buying.

Five new lipsticks, L -> R:
Beauty, Innocence, Outrageously Fun, Glamourdaze, Dramatic Encounter

Five new lipglosses, L -> R:
Impossibly Sweet, Pink Fade, Talk Softly to Me, Deliciously Demure, Flight of Fancy

Nearly there - there are five new Lipsticks and five Lipglasses, all LE, first the lipsticks:
  • Beauty (pale cool pink) - Glaze
  • Innocence (soft coral) - Frost
  • Outrageously Fun (mid-tone magenta violet) - Cremesheen
  • Glamourdaze (mid-tone creamy plum) - Cremesheen
  • Dramatic Encounter (deep purple) - Amplified
  • Impossibly Sweet (sheer soft pink with pearl) - lipglass
  • Pink Fade (light creamy pink) - lipglass
  • Talk Softly to Me (light creamy coral pink) - lipglass
  • Deliciously Demure (soft cool brown with pearl) - lipglass
  • Flight of Fancy (rich purple) - lipglass

I loved Flight of Fancy, but I already have MAC Sin and have recently purchased Chanel's (iconic) Rouge Noir (see here for a review), and this is just too similar to both of those.

False Lashes Black Mascara
Orpheus, Raven, Mystery, Feline

Finally, add a mascara repromote, False Lashes Black (in black).  I don't rate MAC mascaras.  At.all.  Personally.  And four new and LE Kohl Power Eye Pencils:

  • Raven (black with red pearl)
  • Orpheus (black with gold pearl)
  • Mystery (black with green pearl)
  • Feline (black with black pearl)

Truth be told, I didn't see these - there was a lot to look through on the night!  I will take a look when these are on-counter again in a few weeks.

Guilty Passions Collection

Featuring packaging in mint green and powder pink with cutesy bows and stripes, essentially this collection is all about the gloss and glitter.  Here we see mini kits for eyes and lips and stackable pigments.  All of these collectinons are LE.  The prices are quite good (for example the stack of crushed metallic pigments is €37, which compares nicely with the price of a single pigment, around €25).   Note that the MAC Pro discount does not apply to this collection.  I am not particularly personally) interested in this collection, with the exception of the Brilliantly Cool pigments set, which I may wind up going back to have another peek at in a few weeks, however I can see the appeal of these as Christmas gifts.

First-off, the three lip sets:
Nicely Nude Lip Gloss set

The Nicely Nude lip gloss set features four shades as follows (all LE), in the nude register, €37 for the set of four:
  • Fashion Whim (light beige) - Cremesheen Glass
  • Satin Slip (soft beige with gold pearl) - Dazzleglass Creme
  • Get Rich Quick (warm yellow brown) - Dazzleglass Creme
  • Kiss Don’t Tell (warm chocolate creme) - Cremesheen Glass

Get Rich Quick

I really had thought that Get Rich Quick (second from right above) would be interesting, but swatched it looked a bit dirty/rusty brown, not particularly my cup of tea at all.

Cocktail Coral Lip Gloss set

The Cocktail Coral lip gloss set features another four lip glosses, all LE, this time soft pinks, €37:
  • On the Scene (peach with pink and white pearl) - Cremesheen Glass
  • Steppin’ Out (clean yellow pink with red pearl) - Dazzleglass Creme
  • Sublime Shine (light coral brown with gold pearl - Dazzleglass Creme
  • Geo Pink (hot pink with gold pearl) - Cremesheen Glass

Lavish Rose Lip Gloss set

The Lavish Rose lip gloss set features another four lip glosses, the turn this time of purple-based pinks (all LE), €37:
  • Going Casual (blue pink with silver pearl) - Cremesheen Glass
  • Demure (warm pink with blue pearl) - Dazzleglass Creme
  • Boys Go Crazy (deep amethyst with gold pearl) - Dazzleglass Creme 
  • Colour Saturation (plum purple) - Cremesheen Glass

On to the three crushed metallic pigments sets on offer... these are a bit more interesting than the lip gloss sets (in my opinion):
Tenderly Warm pigment set

The Tenderly Warm set of pigments features four stackable pigments, all crushed metallic, all extremely frosted and shimmery, all LE, price for the four is (actually quite good at) €37, all on the neutral side of the spectrum (beige, rose, copper):
  • Silk Stocking (beige)
  • Darling Coquette (soft beige frost)
  • Dreamy Little Thing (rose with copper sparkle)
  • Ever Elegant (copper frost)
Sweetly Smoky pigment set

Sweetly Smoky features another four stackable pigments, same drill: metallic, shimmery, LE, €37, this time in cool pinks and purples):
  • Feminity (cool pink frost)
  • Maribu (lilac frost)
  • Prettified (mauvey frost)
  • Dusty Desire (rich purple frost)
Brilliantly Cool

And lastly, Brilliantly Cool, this one I didn't purchase but likely will go back to "pick up" :-).  Four stackable, metallic ultra-shimmery green-based shades, LE, €37:
  • She’s Got Class (silver frost)
  • Spruced (teal frost)
  • Moss Garden (light green blue frost)
  • I’ve Got a Crush on You (browned teal frost)

This particular set of pigments features in my "Back of the hand" swatches section above.  Just look at I've Got a Crush On You - it's like hyped-up MAC Club on acid.  That and Spruced are absolutely gorgeous and worth at least another look :-)

Fabulousness Collection

The packaging on this collection is just divine, with sateen-covered quilted compacts in various pastel shades of pink, green and champagne, but I wasn't particularly (personally) interested in the products I saw.  This features eye palettes, face palettes, eye+face palettes, the Christmas brush collections, eye kits, lip kits and a travel bag... this is the most extensive of the three collections and all the kits are LE (but not all of the contents of the kits are LE).  Despite the absolute gorgeousness of the packaging, I'm not bothered (at this point I have been de-potting for years, so packaging, unless it's something very unusual, generally doesn't sway me).

Hanging travel bag

First-up, the Hanging Travel Bag, (LE), €39.50, a sateen-and-plastic travel bag that contains three zippered pockets, two pockets with snap-fasteners, and a hook for hanging it up when you're travelling.  I didn't like this if I'm honest.  Well made but tacky looking (in my opinion), and certainly not cheap for what it is (it doesn't come with any products).

Next of interest to most people are the brush sets.  This year, there are three Perfectly Plush brush sets, all are €68; as follows:

Essential Brush Set

The Essential brush set features the following short-handle brushes and a matching green case:
  • 129SE (Powder/Blush Brush)
  • 190SE (Foundation Brush)
  • 275SE (Angled Shading Brush)
  • 226SE (Tapered Blending Brush) - LE
  • 266SE (Small Angle Brush)

Advanced Brush Set

The Advanced brush set features the following short-handle brushes and a matching pink case:
  • 167SE (Face Blender Brush)
  • 168SE (Large Angled Contour Brush)
  • 217SE (Blending Brush)
  • 239SE (Eye Shader Brush)
  • 212SE (Flat Definer Brush)

    Mineralize Brush Set

    The Mineralize brush set features the following short-handle brushes and a matching case:
    • 187SE (Dual Fibre Face Brush)
    • 130SE (Dual Fibre Small Face Brush)
    • 282SE (Dual Fibre Eye Shader Brush) - LE/Pro
    • 286SE (Dual Fibre Tapered Blending Brush) - LE/Pro

    Personally, I never recommend the LE brush sets.  I have found, without exception in the past, that the quality of these offerings is sub-par and categorically not on the same level as the non-LE, non-set MAC brushes.  But each to their own.

    Fabulousness eye palettes: Warm, Smoky, Neutral 

    There are three Fabulousness Eye Palettes featuring five eyeshadows in each, one for Warm Eyes, one for Neutral Eyes, and one for Smoky Eyes.  Beautiful packaging aside, a few quick swipes of these left me unimpressed; the colour payoff just wasn't there for a lot of the shades that I swatched quickly.  Some of the shades are LE, some are permanent line, but the sets are all LE.  The cost of these is €49 each.

    Warm Eyes - gold packaging (LE)
    • Glamour Light (soft beige frost) - Satin
    • Sketch (burgundy with red shimmer) - Velvet
    • Honesty (pewtered bronze) - Lustre
    • Cognac (frosty golden bronze) - Frost
    • Retrospeck (bleached blonde) - Lustre

    Neutral Eyes - green packaging (LE)
    • Brun (muted blackish-brown) - Satin
    • Blonde Mink (grey taupe frost) - Lustre
    • Enviable (cool mint green with pearl) - Veluxe Pearl
    • Smut Muted (black with red shimmer) - Velvet
    • Magical Mist (metallic taupe) - Lustre

    Smoky Eyes - pink packaging (LE)
    • Spellcaster (matte aubergine) - Matte
    • Taupeless (lavender pink) - Lustre
    • Black Slip (rich blackened plum with pearl) - Veluxe Pearl
    • Satin Taupe (taupe with silver shimmer) - Frost
    • Love Spice (mid-tone rosy pink with pearl) - Frost

    All For Glamour Touch-up kit

    Similarly, there are three All For Glamour Touch-up kits, each featuring a blot powder and a lipstick.  Now these I could get behind if they featured Studio Careblend powder instead of Blot Powder, but how and ever the packaging is just so utterly fabulous, I could be tempted by these.  Could be, but probably won't be.  Each of these kits are in pink packaging, each is LE, each is €59 I think (my handwriting sucked at this point, but this price is in the correct ball-park).

    • Fashion City (neutral coral with pink) - Sheen Supreme Lipstick
    • Medium - Blot Powder

    Medium Dark
    • Bare Again (pinky neutral beige) - Sheen Supreme Lipstick
    • Medium Dark - Blot Powder

    • Can’t Resist (golden purplish red) - Sheen Supreme Lipstick
    • Dark - Blot Powder

    There are two LE Lip Look Bags, and three LE Eye Look Bags.  The Lip Look bags are (I believe) €49 (needs confirmation, dodgy handwriting again for this one) and each features a pink purse which contains a lipstick, a lipglass and a lip liner.

    The Eye Look bags are €55 each, and are packaged in a green purse, containing a mini duo-eyeshadow palette, an eyeliner, a mascara and an angled eyeshader brush (275SE).

    Again, in both the Lip Look Bags and the Eye Look Bags case, some of the products are LE, some are not, but the kits themselves are LE.

    Lip Look Bag - Lavish Coral

    Lip Look Bag in Lavish Coral
    • Kiss Me Softly (soft peach with gold pearl) - Cremesheen Glass
    • Shy Girl (creamy neutral coral beige) - Cremesheen Lipstick
    • Boldly Bare (dirty red brown) - Lip Pencil

    Lip Look Bag - Luxurious Pink

    Lip Look Bag in Luxurious Pink
    • Call Me Gorgeous (bright fuchsia with gold pearl) - Cremesheen Glass
    • Lickable (bright, clean blue pink) - Cremesheen Lipstick
    • Great Catch (bright cream fuchsia) - Lip Pencil

    Eye Look Bag - Sensual Peach

    Eye Look Bag in Sensual Peach
    • Dazzle Me (light peach with gold pearl) - Frost Eyeshadow
    • Mulch (red-brown with bronze pearl) - Velvet Eyeshadow
    • Stubborn Brown (deep rich brown) - Powerpoint Eye Pencil
    • Bad, Bad, Black - Black Opulash Mascara
    • 275SE Medium Angle Shading Brush

    Eye Look Bag - Decadently Pink

    Eye Look Bag in Decadently Pink
    • Radial Pink (powder pink with silver sheen pearl) - Frost Eyeshadow
    • Shadowy Lady (blackened plum) - Matte Eyeshadow
    • Bordeauxline (soulful deep rich plum) - Powerpoint Eye Pencil
    • Bad, Bad, Black - Black Opulash Mascara
    • 275SE Medium Angle Shading Brush

    Eye Look Bag - Drama Taupe

    Eye Look Bag in Drama Taupe
    • Filament (platinum silver) - Lustre Eyeshadow
    • Black Tied (black with silver sparkle) - Velvet Eyeshadow
    • Engraved (rich black) - Powerpoint Eye Pencil
    • Bad, Bad, Black - Black Opulash Mascara
    • 275SE Medium Angle Shading Brush

    All For Glamour Face touch-up kit in Gorgeous Bronze

    Finally (from what I could see in any case) there was an All For Glamour face touch-up kit in Gorgeous Bronze.  At €64 (or thereabouts, sorry!), this is another beautifully packaged LE kit featuring two eyeshadows, two lipsticks and a bronzing powder as follows:
    • Hearts-a-flutter (warm pink with silver pearl) - Satin Eyeshadow
    • Romance Me (warm plum with gold pearl) - Lustre Eyeshadow
    • Shadowy Lady (blackened plum) - Matte Eyeshadow
    • Golden (muted golden tan-beige with shimmer) - Bronzing Powder
    • Barely Lit (neutral pink with gold pearls) - Lustre Lipstick
    • Headturner (mid-tone cool cream plum) - Cremesheen Lipstick

    My Recommendations

    This post was the work of two very long evenings and a labour of love (and then hate, as I struggled to finish it before bedtime!)  As mentioned, I purchased these:

    Clockwise from top left: Easy Manner (blush),
    A Natural Flirt, Round Midnight, Stylishly Merry (Extra Dimension eyeshadows)

    And I am going back for another look at the Brilliantly Cool pigment set when the collection launches - speaking of which, these products go on sale in another two-three weeks I believe;  in general MAC launches on the first Thursday of the month, so that would be around 7th November as far as I know.


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